By Michael Lelah, Ph.D., Technical Director, NOW Foods
Analytical chemistry is the lifeblood of Quality Control. The analytical chemist uses sophisticated techniques to break up the tablets and capsules, and then to analyze for key ingredients, in order to confirm the potency and safety of our supplements. At NOW Foods, we have two analytical chemistry groups. The first group develops the methods and the second group uses them to test our products. Let's discuss each group.
The development group is very high powered. Analytical chemistry is a very difficult science. We have Ph.D.'s and Master's Chemists in this group. Their job is to develop new methods to analyze our products and they either develop methods from scratch, or adapt existing methods to our specific needs. Joseph Zhou and Ted Waszkuc in our Methods Development Group have successfully developed a new glucosamine sulfate method that has just been ratified as the IAOAC (International Association of Analytical Chemists) Official Method. Joseph Zhou, who has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, was also nominated as study director of the year by IAOAC. His group also developed the IAOAC approved method for chondroitin sulfate and this is in final development stages. And there are many more in various stages of development. NOW Foods is truly an industry leader.
The QC Analytical Group uses the methods developed by the Methods Development Group to test our products. Their instruments are operating 24 hours a day. The technicians here are skilled in running tests on our products. This group has a wealth of pharmaceutical, food and environmental testing experience. This group makes sure that our products meet our label claims. It's a challenging task as we make many products every day.